F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

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John Young
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F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by John Young » 27 Oct 2017, 09:49

Following on from the F-35 discussions in the "Thoughts on the next project" thread, I can now post an update of the design so far.

I decided to start with the F-35B, because it’s the most complex of the 3 variants. The basic shape was a little tricky to achieve with smooth contours in the main, but with some sharp edges on the fuselage sides and of course some awkward serrated edges. The nozzle animation, having done the earlier test, went well:

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The fun started when the bays were cut out and doors put in place. Gmax modellers in particular will tell you to avoid “Boolean” cuts like the plague because they have the habit of screwing up the smoothness of the surrounding mesh. The F-35B has more bays than I have ever modelled in one aircraft before and although the cutting was fine, the resulting disturbance to the mesh was really untidy. It took me a couple of days to get everything back to a respectable finish:

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Having made the base “B” model, I looked a little more closely at the configurations of external weapons loads. A bit of relief on that one really because in practice it seems that only GBU-10’s, GBU-12’s plus AIM-9’s are carried at the moment. I’m therefore going to keep the load-out simple for the initial release with 4 x GBU-10’s plus the AIM-9’s (as an alternative to the clean model):

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I can revise the loads later when drill configurations become clearer.

The model exports fine and I borrowed the existing F-35A FDE to set it up in FS9. It flew a circuit of my test airfield perfectly first time. That’s of course with a conventional take-off and landing:

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All the animation is working fine, but for my first test, I just used “flaps” as the trigger to move the doors and make the engine swivel. My next task is to watch some more videos so that I can determine what positions are used on all the moving parts at the various stages of flight, ie parked, taxi, take-off, cruise and landing. I can then use more refined triggers to get more appropriate animation in all stages.

Once the triggers are all done I can start work on the STOVL FDE. I’ll start with my Harrier STOVL files in the first instance and modify from there.

I’m looking forward to painting the aircraft, but I’ll hold off starting that for the time being. Developing the FDE will give me further opportunities to view the aircraft a bit more so that I can hopefully see any problems before creating the mapping for the textures, after which changes become a lot more time consuming.

I think I’m through the modelling pain barriers and design booby traps (the inner shell of the fuselage surrounding the engine nozzle in particular). I was surprised at the achieved polygon count: 7263 on the base model and 9720 with the weapons load. I was expecting more, particularly with the serrated edges.

It’s an intensive model to make and Mike was right, it needs a lot of references to photographs. I’m doubly grateful to Hartwig who sent me so many. Nearly every one of them told me something about what I needed to do. The one thing I couldn’t find anywhere was a decent underside plan, so photographs were essential here.

Thanks Hartwig for a great resource.

John

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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by hawk_sh » 27 Oct 2017, 10:28

You are welcome John!
This looks awesome...
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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by david.harwood » 27 Oct 2017, 10:31

Simply amazing!

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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by mins » 27 Oct 2017, 10:34

Super Great!!!
Real developer!^ ^b

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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by Reggie » 27 Oct 2017, 11:05

Bravo, John, bravo!

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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by Redtail » 27 Oct 2017, 12:59

A very nice model as always.I am sure the nav lighting will be up to the usual standard. :wink:
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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by MIKE JG » 27 Oct 2017, 13:27

THAT is effing cool right there!
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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by JohnTenn » 27 Oct 2017, 13:55

Another brilliant model series.

They really look the part. I am surprised some of your models have not become UI on the sly.

Thank you

John

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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by petebramley » 27 Oct 2017, 15:39

Its not fair for one person to have so much talent 😀

That’s looking damn fine John
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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by f4nutter » 27 Oct 2017, 16:20

John Boy, you've done it again :smt041

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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by Stewart Pearson » 27 Oct 2017, 16:45

Congrats John, against all odds, you've managed to flabbergast us all again.

Super job.
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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by paul64 » 27 Oct 2017, 19:05

You were wasted on scenery John :D :smt006

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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by VulcanDriver » 27 Oct 2017, 19:24

Very nice John. Although I personally hate the F-35B your model is amazing
John

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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by C-130H » 27 Oct 2017, 21:23

John, You are doing an awesome job! The B is a tricky devil, you are really doing amazing work!
Place enough force behind a brick and it will fly!

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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by volador » 28 Oct 2017, 10:25

Outstanding John, as ussual. Many thanks for the effort.
Miguel

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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by flyerkg » 28 Oct 2017, 12:34

This is literally stunning work!

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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by John Young » 28 Oct 2017, 14:21

Many thanks for your kind comments everyone. I'm glad Steve suggested this project - it certainly seems popular.

I've now managed to get the right animation triggers in place to move all the F-35B parts in the appropriate stages of flight. These mainly use the strobe light to open all the doors and swivel the engine (45 degrees for take-off) at the runway hold. Radio altitude triggers other stuff like the horizontal stabiliser to the up position a couple of hundred feet before landing. The really good news is that all these triggers work in FSX, and probably P3Dv4 too, so full animation should be fine in all 3 sims.

I've changed the AIM-9s to AIM-132's on the outer weapons pylons and I'm also adding the gun pod to the centre line as an option. I'll also add the crew ladder and it's RAM-shaped angular door. While I was further researching the door positions yesterday, I realised that about 80% of photographs and videos I saw, had the weapons bay doors open with the aircraft parked. I can do that with a bit more excavating, but the inner doors will need two parented triggers, because they come down for the landing. Complicated, but I've done things like that before, so that should be fine too.

Onwards.......

John

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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by Mark_Fox » 28 Oct 2017, 14:28

Remarkable....

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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by Foxbat » 28 Oct 2017, 21:54

Hi John,

This is great news, as our first norwegian F-35 are landing at Ørland ENOL this week, if I'm not offset by a few beers this weekend. About avoiding Booleans, I use them all the time. Been using those since 3DSMax3.0. Only thing happening now and then, is if you by accident rotate a vertice, and get that horrible "gmax will shut down defective mesh" something. This often happens when using Booleans. The remedy for example, when I have used Booleans to make a roof that is a little lower than the walls (hope you get my drift) ... is to simply delete the roof and make it anew. Plus having incremental backups in that fearful, unsteady thingie called gmax. I have actually made a list of what to not do in gmax, what to tweak, and how to get that bugger working in Win10 without ending up in those white clothes at an institution. I'll send you a copy if you want it.
Andrew

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Re: F-35 Variants (FS9, FSX and P3Dv4)

Post by Jon » 28 Oct 2017, 22:08

Sweet looking great there John.
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